Gift-giving is an inherently selfish act disguised as a selfless one. If it were completely altruistic, then the old saw would go, “ ’Tis better to receive than to give, but you should take one for the team here.” We do it because it feels great, and few things are as satisfying as watching someone open a carefully selected present and getting confirmation that you really nailed it. That’s what makes it so amazing to give your pet a present. So long as the attention is focused on them, they think everything is great. You also never have to worry about including a gift receipt, thanks to their embarrassing inability to navigate a returns department.
And it’s not just about emotional symbiosis. A gift for your pet can have tangible benefits for you. A toy that blissfully distracts the dog also gives the humans some peace and quiet, and the love seat gets a break whenever the cat’s climbing and exploring its new lofted shelf. It’s radically efficient.
Here’s some inspiration to bring both of you some extra cheer this holiday season. Bear in mind that while our pets love us and the attention we give them, they can also be picky brats sometimes. So follow your judgment as you consider what might tickle their fancy; they trust you.
Dogs love plushy toys so much that it can be a problem. The softer and fluffier it is, the more likely your pooch will morph into Lennie from Of Mice and Men and go overboard. While all toys are advertised as durable, this one can tango with a large, overenthusiastic dog and come away unscathed. Few plush toys have lasted more than a few hours with my own pup, but this beach ball is a welcome exception. She also uses it as a pillow, which is insanely adorable (in my unbiased opinion).